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Answers to ESOMAR 28 Questions (IMAS Panel 2019)


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IMAS is pleased to present to you our answers to ESOMAR’s 28 Questions to Help Buyers od Online Samples

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Answers to ESOMAR 28 Questions (IMAS Panel 2019)

  2. 2. ESOMAR 28 1. What experience does your company have in providing online samples for market research? IMAS International has created it’s first online research panel, IMAS OnLine (, in Poland in 2005. Since then we have been offering studies on Internet users samples. We provide services to Polish researchers as well as international research agencies  who are looking for reliable respondent samples.   Nowadays, there are three data bases of our own: IMAS OnLine – general panel, 58,500 active members, Ankiety Pro Bono – founded in 2016, for people, who share their incentives with NGO’s – 6,500 active members, IMAS Agri – founded in 2017, for farmers and people involved in land cultivation and food production, 600 active members. (all numbers as of January 2019)   Between 2005 and 2019 we carried out over 1 million online interviews. COMPANY PROFILE SAMPLE SOURCES AND RECRUITMENT 2. Please describe and explain the type(s) of online sample sources from which you get respondents. Are these databases? Actively managed research panels? Direct marketing lists? Social networks? Web intercept (also known as river) samples? Our company uses a proprietary research panel, which is managed by IMAS Research Department through a dedicated web application. The panelists are recruited from many sources to ensure a possibly diverse representation of the Internet users in Poland. One of the most important ways of recruiting new panelists is mailing sent out by our partners to their users, but also graphic and text banners placed on popular websites, adverts on search engines pages and similar. We use social media ads, recommendations, and so on. We also take the opportunity and invite our face-to-face or CATI respondents to join in.   If the purpose of the survey requires so, we pursue research among visitors of specific websites or individuals registered in social networks. Our clients are provided with detailed information on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of source and we collectively make decisions on the selections of the sample. 1
  3. 3. ESOMAR 28 3. If you provide samples from more than one source: How are the different sample sources blended together to ensure validity? How can this be replicated over time to provide reliability? How do you deal with the possibility of duplication of respondents across sources? In most cases we only use our own research panel and discourage our clients to combine samples from different sources. Our database is constantly checked against duplicates and any suspected multi-registration is immediately explained.   Our internal research shows that about 50% of the participants of IMAS Panel is registered in other panels as well. There is a high possibility of repeating an interview with the same person if the sample is purchased in multiple panels. Therefore, we only complement our sample with external sources in exceptional cases, and only after consultation with our client. In such cases, we protect our sample against duplication by checking cookies and IP addresses. 5. How do you source groups that may be hard to reach on the internet? While recruiting samples that are difficult to obtain, we look for them primarily within our panel. If we believe that this might not be effective, we suggest other methods of obtaining respondents, such as telephone recruitment from our CATI studio. We also use advertising campaigns on specialized websites (eg for the elderly, people suffering from  certain diseases etc.). 2 4. Are your sample source(s) used solely for market research? If not, what other purposes are they used for? The panel is used solely for the purpose of conducting market research. 6. If, on a particular project, you need to supplement your sample(s) with sample(s) from other providers, how do you select those partners? Is it your policy to notify a client in advance when using a third party provider? IMAS uses primarily its own respondents database and we only complement our sample with external sources in exceptional situations.   However, if it is necessary to combine samples with other panel, we cooperate exclusively with companies of proven reputation, that also meet ESOMAR and ISO standards or similar. In such cases our client is always informed about the source the sample comes from.
  4. 4. ESOMAR 28 7. What steps do you take to achieve a representative sample of the target population? Every data base is being prepared based on a random selection from the panel members. The representative sample is built according to the demographic distribution of several important features in the target population. In this way, the assumed quotas are fulfilled evenly. Invitations are sent automatically in batches, until the requested number of interviews is achieved.   The database can be prepared considering the respondents’ activity in previous surveys. Respondents can be added or removed from the database depending on how often they are sent invitations, how often they complete the surveys, what topics they answered recently, how many points they earned so far, etc. 12. What profiling data is held on respondents? How is it done? How does this differ across sample sources? How is it kept up-to-date? If no relevant profiling data is held, how are low incidence projects dealt with? During the registration, we only get the minimum information about our panelists: e-mail address, birth date, gender, place of residence and region. Additional data are then gathered during a detailed registration survey asking for information like respondent’s professional status, used products, use of media, buying behavior, etc. The data are updated and verified during regular research. 3 8. Do you employ a survey router? No. Our respondents are invited each time via email to take part in one specifically described survey. SAMPLING AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT 9 - 11. If you use a router... We do not employ a survey router. 13. Please describe your survey invitation process. What is the proposition that people are offered to take part in individual surveys? What information about the project itself is given in the process? Apart from direct invitations to specific surveys (or to a router), what other means of invitation to surveys are respondents exposed to? You should note that not all invitations to participate take the form of emails. If a person has been chosen for the study, s/he is being sent an e-mail invitation to take part. The invitation message describes briefly the purpose of the study, expected timing, the date when the survey is due and other important information (i.e. why they have been sent the invitation, how to withdraw, how to proceed in case of problems).
  5. 5. ESOMAR 28 14. Please describe the incentives that respondents are offered for taking part in your surveys. How does this differ by sample source, by interview length, by respondent characteristics? IMAS panelists collect points for completing the surveys. Number of points to be rewarded depends on the length of the survey, its level of complexity and the target sample. In every project, participants collect points for completing the screener. 16. Do you measure respondent satisfaction? Is this information made available to clients? IMAS asks all respondents to rate their satisfaction at the end of each survey carried out on our online system. Furthermore, we check the satisfaction of all our panelists on a regular basis (quarterly). Satisfaction survey results are available to our clients upon request. 4 15. What information about a project do you need in order to give an accurate estimate of feasibility using your own resources? In order to determine our ability to provide an adequate sample, we need the following information: 17. What information do you provide to debrief your client after the project has finished? At the end of the survey, the client may be provided with a fieldwork report containing detailed information according to the client’s individual needs. Generally, the report includes the exact start and end date, description of the sample and sample designing, response rate, number of invitations sent and number of completed surveys. a general description of the sample, quota conditions (demography), conditions of qualification for participants, the estimated length of the interview, the required number of completes, desired fieldwork time.
  6. 6. ESOMAR 28 18. Who is responsible for data quality checks? If it is you, do you have in place procedures to reduce or eliminate undesired within survey behaviours, such as (a) random responding, (b) Illogical or inconsistent responding, (c) overuse of item non-response (e.g. “Don’t Know”) or (d) speeding (too rapid survey completion)? Please describe these procedures. We use a number of techniques to detect fraudulent respondents. We check the demographic data obtained in other surveys for consistency and accuracy. We check the time of completion and frequency of choosing the response options "Don’t know” or "No Answer". If surveys are completed far too quickly or DK/NA are used too often, we closely watch the respondents and monitor their following activity. Any suspected fraudulent respondents are removed from the panel. 20. How often can the same individual take part in a survey within a specified period? How does this vary across your sample sources? How do you manage this within categories and/or time periods? Our panelists are invited to participate in a survey not earlier than a week from the last completed questionnaire. We set limits on survey topics and do not invite the same respondents to similar projects within a minimum 3-month period. Moreover, on client’s request, we do not engage panelists who participated in any of the client’s projects before. 5 19. How often can the same individual be contacted to take part in a survey within a specified period whether they respond to the contact or not? How does this vary across your sample sources? We keep a record of participation history for each panel member. We do not set limits on how often our respondents receive invitations to our surveys. All active  participants of our panel may receive the invitation.  The exceptions are cases in which the respondent has taken part in a survey on specific topic – for explanation read point 20. DATA QUALITY AND VALIDATION 21. Do you maintain individual level data such as recent participation history, date of entry, source, etc., on your survey respondents? Are you able to supply your client with a project analysis of such individual level data? Yes, we do record the individual-level data on our respondents, such as participation history, date of joining the panel, etc., but we do not deliver this information to our clients because of confidentiality and protection of such data.
  7. 7. ESOMAR 28 22. Do you have a confirmation of respondent identity procedure? Do you have procedures to detect fraudulent respondents? Please describe these procedures as they are implemented at sample source registration and/or at the point of entry to a survey or router. If you offer B2B samples what are the procedures there, if any? Data for all panel members are checked in a two-step registration process (double-opt in). During this process, the new member’s e-mail address is verified. We also verify the panelist’s postal address and their bank account at the time of incentive redemption.   We regularly check the consistency of the data provided by our panelists. In the event of incoherence, the respondent shall be informed and asked for clarification. If this type of behavior repeats, the respondent is removed from the panel members database. Joining the online panel is a two-step process. Candidates register on the website by filling out a short form stating, among others, their name and e-mail address. This address is being used for sending the request for confirmation of identity as well as the first survey asking for demographic data, like education level, working status, possessions, use of services and other profile questions. 6 24. Please provide a link to your Privacy Policy. How is your Privacy Policy provided to your respondents? The privacy policy we use is available on the website. We proceed in accordance with the International Code of Conduct of ICC / ESOMAR ( and the applicable international and local law. The panel member’s personal data are processed in accordance with the Polish Data Protection Law dated 29 August 1997 (unified text: Dz.U. of 2002 No. 101, item 926) and with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). POLICIES AND COMPLIANCE 23. Please describe the ‘opt-in for market research’ processes for all your online sample sources.
  8. 8. ESOMAR 28 25. Please describe the measures you take to ensure data protection and data security. We use up-to-date, stable and secure server units able to store and process huge amount of data from thousands of respondents. They are securely protected from unauthorized access by means of specialized IT software and hardware. All equipment is located in a highly modern data center in Poland, with 24/7 monitoring and control. Access to the online application is secured with SSL protocol.   The database is separated from a direct Internet traffic in three levels. Every access to the data management application requires authorization. Only a few employees within the company have access to respondent database and every login attempt is recorded. IMAS holds a Polish PKJPA certificate of quality in CAWI research awarded by the Organization of Opinion and Market Research Business OFBOR, which in some areas is close to the ISO26362 certification. IMAS also has implemented  internal quality management procedures. We adhere to the ESOMAR guidelines for online studies. 7 28. Do you conduct online surveys with children and young people? If so, do you adhere to the standards that ESOMAR provides? What other rules or standards, for example COPPA in the United States, do you comply with? IMAS does not conduct online surveys with children or young people below 13. 27. Are you certified to any specific quality system? If so, which one(s)? 26. What practices do you follow to decide whether online research should be used to present commercially sensitive client data or materials to survey respondents? All our clients are informed about the risks associated with the research on new concepts and products in the early stages of design. We believe that it is not possible to fully secure content from being copied and published. Usually in such cases we suggest other methods of research, eg CAPI.
  9. 9. PANEL AT A GLANCE 64,500ACTIVE MEMBERS* A S O F J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 25% AVERAGE RESPONSE RATE *active members - number of panelists who have participated in, at least, one survey in the last year (definition accordingly to ISO 26362 norm) IMAS Panel was founded in late 2005 by Polish branch of market reseach agency IMAS International. IMAS Panel operates only in Poland. For over 14 years, IMAS International has provided market research agencies with a high quality sample. These our partners from the market research industry:
  10. 10. Contact us. e-mail: phone: +48 71 771 08 00 NEED MORE INFORMATION? IMAS International Sp. z o.o. Institute for Market and Social Opinion Research PL 50-541 Wrocław, al. Armii Krajowej 61